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Scouting Profile: Gerod Holliman, S, Louisville


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Landon Collins, S, Alabama

Anthony Harris, S, Virginia

Adrian Amos, S, Penn State

 

NC-State-@-Louisville-10-18-14-0661.jpg

 

Mock Draftable chart: http://mockdraftable.com/player/4951/

 

Games watched: vs FSU, vs Kentucky, vs Boston College

 

The Good:

 

Complete hawk in the backfield. Locks onto QBs eyes and breaks on the ball with elite acceleration.

  ex. http://zippy.gfycat.com/RevolvingAjarGosling.webm

  ex. http://zippy.gfycat.com/WebbedScalyHarlequinbug.webm

 

Smooth and athletic in coverage. Much better athlete than what he tested at. Body control is borderline unbelievable. 

 

After watching him, I feel his "doesn't want to tackle" reputation isn't very warranted. It's not that he doesn't want to per se, it's just that he's really bad at it. Here he is meeting Karlos Williams (who has a full head of steam) in the hole 1-on-1:

  ex. http://zippy.gfycat.com/EquatorialCooperativeAlbertosaurus.webm

He's so bad at it that it looks like he intentionally missing tackles, when in reality he just is a very un-physical player (he doesn't even attempt to help gang-tackle ball-carriers) with bad technique."Refuses to tackle" is a little over the top. 

 

He's very much like Jarius Byrd, in that he uses his depth of coverage and instincts to his advantage. 

 

Amazing ball skills. By far the best in the class.

  ex. http://zippy.gfycat.com/TestyMemorableAmericangoldfinch.webm

 

Pick magnet. 14(!) interceptions in his final season. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. 

 

For as bad a tackler as he is, he actually is very good at reading run plays. Doesn't get fooled by read-option plays and seemingly always knows where the play is going. 

 

The Bad: 

 

​Good, not great athlete. Average footspeed. Can be beat by WRs if forced to turn and run down the field. 

 

Hilariously awful tackler. It's actually borderline comical how bad he is. His angles to the football are so terrible.

  ex. http://zippy.gfycat.com/EachBlondAndeancondor.webm

  ex. http://zippy.gfycat.com/GivingDangerousIrishsetter.webm

  ex. http://zippy.gfycat.com/ClutteredPlainAfricanbushviper.webm

  ex. http://zippy.gfycat.com/BoldBlueBighorn.webm

  ex. http://zippy.gfycat.com/MeatySmoothKiwi.webm

  ex. http://zippy.gfycat.com/ForthrightOddBedbug.webm

 

Lacks any type of physicality as a tackler. 

 

Sometimes let's player get behind him because of how intently he's watching the QBs eyes.

  ex. http://zippy.gfycat.com/ClutteredDirtyIslandwhistler.webm

 

Sometimes he gives up too much depth in his coverage and allows underneath throws that probably could have been prevented if he had been closer. 

 

Weak in man coverage. Reads the QB, not the receiver.

 

Conclusion: 

 

Holliman is, by a large margin, the best coverage safety I have seen so far. His instincts, ball skills, and awareness make him a threat for a turnover on any given play. For as good as he is in pass coverage, that's how bad he is as a tackler. If he was even a mediocre tackler, he'd probably be getting talked about as a first round pick. He lacks physicality and technique when tackling, making him a complete liability in the run game. 

 

Holliman fits best as a FS in a scheme that runs a lot of single-high looks (Seattle) where he'll be able to use his understanding of depth, his instincts, and football intelligence to ballhawk. Any team that drafts him is taking a chance that they can fix his tackling problem, but if they can, they can grab a safety with elite coverage potential. 

 

Projected Round: 4th

NFL Comparison: Jarius Byrd, NO

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I'd still take a look at him around the 3rd and 4th round if other safeties have been taken already.  It would be amazing to have a ball-hawk safety back there with Adams.  Maybe his tackling can be improved or at least develop into being average or adequate during Training Camp and Pre-Season.

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Yeah his ball skills are unbelievable. If he can improve on his tackling he's going to be a superstar. If he's there in the 3rd I'd take him. I'm hoping we take two safeties in this draft anyway.

just doesn't seem worth it at all to take a safety who at sometimes seems to refuse to tackle and isn't all that great in coverage but to waste a 3rd or 4th round pick on ball skills (which i agree he has) and the prospect of potential alone is dangerous to me

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He doesn't not want to tackle, but he doesn't want to tackle right. He just flings himself at the ball carrier and takes awful angles. If he's coachable then I think he could become an elite safety, however.

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I think we should take a good look at Tartt.  His coverage skills are not fantastic, but has good speed, aggressive, and a good tackler. 

 

I love Tartt. I hope we get him in the 2nd, then get Holliman or Amos in the 3rd or 4th too. Tartt's going to be a beast. Kam Chancellor type IMO.

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"Doesn't want to tackle" is better than "absolutely can't tackle." You can kind of excuse it if it's about motivation; maybe he doesn't want to get hurt and lose his chance at getting drafted. But if he just can't do it, then that's all there is to it.

 

Some plays make it seem like he's loafing around, but then others show just how bad he is at it. I think it's a combination of the two.

 

Ball skills are no joke. Combined with his length, he can be a problem. He doesn't have the foot speed, especially down the field, to play corner. He's not physical enough to play Cover 2 corner. He even had a disappointing vertical. He's also young. I don't know for sure where he fits.

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I disagree. You can teach tackling technique, you can't teach tenacity. 

 

I agree with you. I was thinking more from a scouting standpoint. Some of us would rather see a guy who can but won't -- thinking he can be motivated -- than a guy who can't and won't. I think it's kind of a way to excuse him and hold out hope that it can get better.

 

Specific to Holliman, I don't think he'll ever be a good tackler. Even when he shows good technique, he doesn't have the power. He has no thump to make up for his poor technique; he can't knock you down with his shoulder. 

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I disagree With the assessment that he is just really bad at tackling and it isn't necessarily a lack of desire.

I have played with guys like him, they are smart enough to take bad angles on purpose so they don't look like a wuss on film the next day. He does not like contact and can not be relied upon. He is a safety for goodness sake and is often times the last line of defense. He doesn't need to be a thumper but this is unacceptable.

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What is the weakness of our defense? Run defense? I'd say that if we want to really commit to stopping the run we should draft a guy that is a hard nosed tough run stopper on the back end. But thats just my opinion. IDK what the coaching staff wants. Interchangable safeties are difficult to find. Most safeties are either center fielders or they are good at supporting the run from the back end. Very rare to find a guy like Ed Reed, Polomalu, Bob Sanders and the like who you can trust to do both and do both very well.

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What is the weakness of our defense? Run defense? I'd say that if we want to really commit to stopping the run we should draft a guy that is a hard nosed tough run stopper on the back end. But thats just my opinion. IDK what the coaching staff wants. Interchangable safeties are difficult to find. Most safeties are either center fielders or they are good at supporting the run from the back end. Very rare to find a guy like Ed Reed, Polomalu, Bob Sanders and the like who you can trust to do both and do both very well.

So you are saying take Denzel Perryman in the 2nd and Holliman in the 3rd? I like that idea :-) jk...kinda lol

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So you are saying take Denzel Perryman in the 2nd and Holliman in the 3rd? I like that idea :-) jk...kinda lol

This year we probably have to choose one or the other. Adams is versatile enough to play either style effectively. Im not sure there is a S in this draft who is. It looks like you either have a choice of run stoppers or centerfielders. It all depends. I doubt Collins hangs around until 29 but stranger things have happened. There will be lots of good choices available at 29 with the positions we have needs in...OL, DL, S, RB....OL, DL and RB are fairly deep pools this year.

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I disagree. You can teach tackling technique, you can't teach tenacity.

If you haven't learned how to tackle properly by the time you hit the NFL draft, you'll likely never learn. Tackling is ~90% natural, ~10% form/technique. And he's going to be going up against much bigger, stronger, and faster guys at the next level.

Note: I've never watched this guy play. I'm speaking in general.

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I agree with you. I was thinking more from a scouting standpoint. Some of us would rather see a guy who can but won't -- thinking he can be motivated -- than a guy who can't and won't. I think it's kind of a way to excuse him and hold out hope that it can get better.

Specific to Holliman, I don't think he'll ever be a good tackler. Even when he shows good technique, he doesn't have the power. He has no thump to make up for his poor technique; he can't knock you down with his shoulder.

It's way easier to motivate a player who can tackle to tackle than it is to teach a player how to be a good tackler, outside of brand new players to football. If you can't tackle by the time you make the NFL there's likely little hope for you to learn against the biggest and strongest men in the game.

So, I agree, I'd rather take my chance on someone who hasn't been properly motivated than someone who shows no ability.

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Ill take the guy who has not wrapped his mind around the ability to tackle rather then one who is just lazy and not motivated to tackle, you cant teach desire and effort just ask Tom Zbikowski. As to Holliman.......After watching his tapes at DraftBreakdown Im convinced its lack of effort and not skill.......I'd pass on him, You can teach a player who has the physical ability to tackle but you cant teach the unmotivated lazy player to tackle....He has to WANT to tackle

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We'll see what happens at safety. Seems like there's some qualified guys out there though even on the small school level. This safety class isn't that great, but it's not horrible either.  I think we'll be pretty good back there when it's all said and done.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if we got the need fixed with a UDFA when it all shakes out.  There's a number of different options out there from the drafted to the undrafted.   I checked out this safety the Colts had a meeting with last night named Michael Johnson from Fayeteville State. Kid is about 6'2" 200lbs, he's definitely raw, not sure how fast he is but when you turn on the tape he's flying all around the field like a missle blowing guys up and you can tell he'd still be physical like that in the NFL.  Had about 13 to 15 interceptions over his career so he's got some coverage ability, and he also returned punts. Pretty good athlete in my opinion.

 

I'm hoping the Colts follow up with their meeting and bring him in as a UDFA.

 

 

Like Pagano said the safety position will be just fine.

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What is the weakness of our defense? Run defense? I'd say that if we want to really commit to stopping the run we should draft a guy that is a hard nosed tough run stopper on the back end. But thats just my opinion. IDK what the coaching staff wants. Interchangable safeties are difficult to find. Most safeties are either center fielders or they are good at supporting the run from the back end. Very rare to find a guy like Ed Reed, Polomalu, Bob Sanders and the like who you can trust to do both and do both very well.

Yeah, I see that too  And even the pro-bowl / HOF safeties do one over the other better, even though they do both at exceptionally high levels.  Ed Reed was more effective roaming the defensive backfield giving QB's fits and raising their INT stats, and Polomalu was better up in the box stuffing run carriers, forcing fumbles, and sacking the QB.  But both could perform the other role at any time on any play depending upon the situation.  Guys like those two are hard to find as well. 

 

So find one that best fits the type of D mandated, an in the box hitter/run stuffer. Force a few fumbles and possibly rack a few sacks in there as well.

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Maybe Holliman is hoping he can get away with being like Merton Hanks was.  Merton Hanks was a ball hawk, but he couldn't tackle worth a darn.

Krunk I agree with most of what you say but I lived in the bay area, I saw SF play a lot. Hanks didn't look the part kinda skinny, but Hanks was a hitter, and a very good one at that! ALWAYS around the ball, creating big plays.

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Tackling is coachable.

Instincts, ball skills and awareness in coverage is much tougher to coach.

I'd take him in the 3rd.

If this guy wanted to tackle people he would already be doing it. Its not going to get better in the pros, because you actually practice hitting LESS, and guys are bigger faster and more agile than in college. I played safety at a D-1 school and I believe you either like to hit or you don't! If you are a poor tackler more often than not its because you don't like contact. Unless he has poor form, takes bad angles, or is looking for knock out blows instead of waiting for those to come naturally & just MAKING the tackle. This guy IMO would be useless!

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sounds like he would be useless on special teams.  if he can't improve on his tackling/physicality, how often would the guy even see the field?  that being said I think I'd be willing to use a 4th rounder on him.  the potential reward is greater than the risk at that point.

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Krunk I agree with most of what you say but I lived in the bay area, I saw SF play a lot. Hanks didn't look the part kinda skinny, but Hanks was a hitter, and a very good one at that! ALWAYS around the ball, creating big plays.

 

To each his own.  Hanks was a very good safety in coverage, but in my eyes I always thought he was a pretty soft tackler.

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If Holliman is as skilled at coverage and playing the ball in the air as is observed thus far, then he will be drafted higher people think regardless of any tackling or athletic testing deficiencies.  If he can be an impact player in sub packages, nobody will really care if he can tackle or not when it is so easy to find a safety to play on run downs.  If Holliman doesn't like to tackle it's because he knows nobody will care.....his ability to play or not play in the NFL is passing game performance dependent and I suspect he knows it.

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